D.C. Should Create its Own Voucher Program

Under President Obama’s recent proposal, the federal D.C. voucher program will die of attrition after the last of its current participants graduates from high school. That’s unacceptable. Kids who entered this program when it began in 2004 are now two school-years ahead of their public school peers in reading. That kind of educational lifeline must be saved.

And it can be: the District of Columbia should create its own voucher program.

D.C. spends four times more per pupil on education today ($26,555) than the voucher-accepting schools charge in tuition ($6,620). So far from costing the District money, a voucher program would actually save millions.

And though Democrats in Congress are almost unanimously opposed to giving poor parents an easy choice between public and private schools, the same is not true of Democrats in DC — several of whom attended the rally to save the federal voucher program.

D.C. can bring the benefits of this program to every child in the city. And to do right by them, it must.